LA Welcomes SAUDIA

LA Welcomes SAUDIA

Mr. Abdul Aziz Al-Hazmi launches the national flag carrier’s direct flight to Los Angeles; stresses plans to expand its operations in the America market.

SAUDIA launched its direct flights to Los Angeles, a major business city in the heart of California, on March 31, thus becoming the only airline that operates direct flights from Saudi Arabia to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

Mr. Abdul Aziz Al-Hazmi, CEO and acting director general of SAUDIA, launched the flight while stressing the airline’s plan to expand its operations worldwide and modernize its domestic and international fleet.

SAUDIA’s first flight (SV 421), touched down at Tom Bradley International Airport in Los Angeles around 9.50 a.m. on Monday. A SAUDIA delegation headed by Mr. Al-Hazmi was present on board the inaugural flight.

The flight was greeted on arrival at Gate 134 of the newly-renovated Tom Bradley Terminal by Saudi Consul General in Los Angeles Dr. Faisal Al-Sudairy; SAUDIA VP Passenger Sales Mr. Khalid Albalawi; and General Manager of Passenger Sales & Service North & South America Mr. Abdullah Alhuwaivi.

Los Angeles Airport Deputy Executive Director Samson Mengistu, managers, and staff of Los Angeles World Airports, and the airline’s local and regional staff were also present to receive the new flight.

In his opening speech, Mr. Al-Hazmi reaffirmed the airline's intention to further expand its presence in the American market with LAX being the third US destination and the fourth in North America.

The CEO thanked American and Saudi officials for according a warm welcome for the flight. “The new flight will serve various groups of passengers including more than 100,000 Saudi students in the US and their relatives as well as Haj and Umrah pilgrims and business leaders,” he said.

Mr. Al-Hazmi said the Los Angeles flight would play a big role in strengthening Saudi-US relations. The first flight carried 247 passengers covering more than 80 percent of the plane’s seats. “This is a big success,” he said.

He said he was proud to say that the pilot, co-pilot and cabin crewmembers of the Los Angeles flight were Saudis. “They have received advanced training,” he added.

SAUDIA operates about 500 flights daily to more than 80 destinations, maintaining high rate of on-time performance. FlightStats has placed SAUDIA sixth among world airlines in terms of on-time performance.

In his speech, Consul General Dr. Al-Sudairy said he was happy to receive Saudia’s new flight to Los Angeles. “This reflects the growing relations between Saudi Arabia and the United States. The flight will meet the demand of growing passenger traffic between the US and Saudi Arabia,” Dr. Al-Sudairy said while commending the excellent cooperation and coordination between the national flag carrier and the Saudi Embassy in Washington.

Mr. Abdullah Al-Ajhar, EVP Public Relations, who was on the flight, said SAUDIA had made a lot of efforts to market the Los Angeles flight. “We had held a meeting of travel agents in the Kingdom and abroad for the purpose. We also published advertisements for the Los Angeles flight through audiovisual and social media,” he said.

SV Flight 41, which flew direct from Riyadh with a stop in Jeddah arrived in Los Angeles 10 minutes ahead of schedule, making its landing an historic one - the very first nonstop scheduled flight between Saudi Arabia and the Western US.

The inbound flight carried a total of 247 passengers – 22 in First Class, 27 in Business Class, and 198 in Guest Class. The outbound flight SV 42 had in total boarded 258 passengers – 21 in First Class, 32 in Business Class, and 205 in Guest Class.

Mr. Al-Hazmi and SAUDIA executives also visited the SkyTeam Lounge, operated by Korean Airlines and SV Station Office at the Tom Bradley International Terminal.

For its maiden voyage from Saudi Arabia to Los Angeles, SAUDIA used its new Boeing 777-300ER, with 24 seats in the First Class, 36 in Business Class and 245 in the Guest Class.

SAUDIA will operate 3 flights weekly between Saudi Arabia and Los Angeles - Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. The flight will originate from the capital city Riyadh, stopping over in Jeddah before flying nonstop to Los Angeles.

Saudi scholarship students and other passengers have expressed their delight over the Los Angeles flight.

“This is very good news,” said Dr. Abdelelah Saaty, dean of the College of Business in Rabigh, who is a regular traveler to the US and had obtained his master’s degree from the University of Southern California.

“Before launching this new Saudia flight, people had to fly first to Washington or New York to catch a seven-hour flight to Los Angeles,” he said.

“Los Angeles is in the heart of California, which is a business center and the new flight will boost commercial relations between the two countries,” Dr. Saaty said.

Los Angeles is the second largest US city after New York. More than 80,000 Saudi nationals are currently pursuing their higher studies in American universities and institutes.

Most of them live there with their families.

Mr. Mohammed Azhar, another passenger, said the new flight would benefit thousands of Haj and Umrah pilgrims coming from the US to the Kingdom. “This is fabulous news, a direct flight from California to Saudi Arabia. Saudia is a great airline to travel because of its service and good airline track record,” he said.


“The new flight will serve various groups of passengers including more than 100,000 Saudi students in the US and their relatives,” Mr. Al-Hazmi.

Mr. Abdullah Al-Ajhar, EVP Public Relations: SAUDIA had made a lot of efforts to market the Los Angeles flight.

Saudi scholarship students and other passengers have expressed their delight over the Los Angeles flight.


Some Pictures from this Event



Al-Hazmi giving a speech at the ceremony



Al-Hazmi handing on AlSudairi memorable gift from Saudi Arabian Airlines



AL-Hazmi explains to Guests the Saudi Arabian Airlines Services